Monday, January 21, 2013


All of a sudden the the term "POST-PC" is the latest buzzword. I heard it first from Steve Jobs when he used it in 2007 or so. I also heard Bill Gates use the term PC Plus. I looked it up and it turns out that the term was not coined by Steve Jobs but rather, David Clark from MIT in 1999.

Nevertheless, regardless of who invented the term, it is something that is difficult to explain like the way cloud computing means different things to different people. I think Steve Jobs referred to it in the context of devices such as the iPhone and later the iPad. I think for him devices such as Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices would replace the need for a PC. I think Bill Gates may have meant that PCs will no longer dominate but rather be just another computing device.

For me post PC is about data. It is a combination of devices of all sorts with whatever operating system, but most importantly must include cloud computing and the general concept of thin. To me post PC means that I can get the data I want from any device anywhere. The device is all about the user experience. Gone should be the need to have large local disks or software installed other that the core OS and OS distributed apps such as a browser. The device should have the ability to figure out my context, which means it just needs to be told who I am.  I should not have to install any software on it. I should be able to do my daily stuff like do credit transactions, show my drivers license, passport or boarding pass, read my documents and email without doing direct file transfers or anything like that. Currently gmail, google apps, google maps, office 365, spotify, rhapsody, Salesforce, Netflix, Android, iOS, iPad, Blackberry 10, NFC, GPS, and the traditional PC and laptops themselves combined all contribute to the post PC-era.
iTunes, Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Big local hard disks to store pictures, backup devices, downloaded mpeg movies, iTunes App store, Google play store are current PC Era items that need to be left behind as soon as possible.
Buying your own tunes or movies from iTunes or Amazon. No.. Just use netflix, spotify, rhapsody. Your playlists and movies should be anywhere and everywhere. On My phone, tablet, my car, my laptop, my PC. Same goes for downloading apps. They need to be thin, with exceptions (see next paragraph).

But that is not to say it all needs to be left behind. That will not be possible today. CAD, Movie studio editing, Software development tools, PC games and that kind of specialized stuff should remain on a traditional PC. They don't need to be everywhere and every place. That is why PCs are still must be part of the Post PC era. That is all the more reason why I like Bill Gates' term much better ==> PC Plus. 

The Post PC things not with us yet that I am most excited about are:
1) Wearable devices. The Google glass project has me really intrigued. In fact really, really intrigued. It is only at the drawing board stage, so we will seeing a lot more coming from them, other than a google glass hangout session with some sky divers. 
2) Also what are we going to do with NFC? Why is it taking so long to become mainstream? We need some pioneers. We need the big players like Apple, Google and Microsoft to team up and make it happen. If its not NFC, then something else. I must say I was excited to read about RIM's NFC deal with Visa. I will be very happy in my lifetime if I don't have to carry money, drivers licenses, insurance, passport or credit cards.  Its all there in my context on any device, anywhere. 

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